I was thinking (not meditating) in sadhana this morning ... of all the friends I've had since I was a kid, nine or ten years old or even less. And how some of them came to very bad ends. Not just poverty or sickness but jail (where one named Peter died, I don't know of what), and painful disease (another of kidney failure at age eighteen, due probably to a father who beat him regularly with an old fashioned razor strap) and that was the way of our neighborhood. There were gangsters named Vinnie and musicians named Louie (as in Armstrong) and Malcolm X lived not far up the hill and some other names you might not recognize but who were mean and brutal and even well known for other resasons.
But here I am, at what some might estimate is an advanced age, practicing Kundalini Yoga in the early morning hours with some saints and sinners. How does that work exactly? How does it come to pass that someone who hung out with guys named Eddie, Bobby, Eugene (or "Huge" because he was outsized for a kid my age) and gets away with s..t that was pure luck I didn't wind up somewhere where they wound up.
I mean, I started fires, stole stuff, harassed people who didn't look like me, or even if they did (look like me) I took their pants because he was a damn homo! Yeah a lot of stuff like that, not really bad but certainly not anywhere's near good for a kid who professed to be an altar boy serving at a daily 7 AM weekday mass with about a dozen old ladies in the church and Father Farrell whose neck looked like a slice of rare roast beef because he drank more of the wine than he blessed. Yeah I knew a bunch of priests and the worst among them was an alcoholic and smoker who almost killed himself smoking in bed.
I guess that was one of the things I was somehow protected against. They were human beings, the ones I knew, but they were not the worst of them but certainly were the unluckiest. I wasn't that. I was meant to grow up, abuse some drugs after abusing alcohol and myself. And then to find this excellent way to cope with what ever crap I had accumulated Akashically speaking of course.
I mean, I turned my back on this whole 3HO lifestyle 6 months or a year before I found it. I termed it too weird, and pressed my foot on the gas so I could leave a broken down busload of Sikhs sitting by the side of the road (Interstate 10) on a hot day in Chico, California . My life had a little further to decline before I knew that yoga and meditation was a reasonable effort if you thought about it.
So here I am, in sadhana this morning also going back to my Polish grandmother of 90+ years who only ate (or drank) barley broth the last 4 or 5 years of her life. How lucky was I? I don't know and I don't care to know either. I had more close calls and but for one misstep or wrongly chosen second I would have gone up in flames like others did. Instead I'm praying for forgiveness and wisdom.